GDB 34.0 Wrap Up: Penalty killed, Oilers lose 4-2 in Vancouver

Special teams matter. Final Score: 4-2 Canucks

Going into the first matchup of the season against the Canucks, I was very interested to see how the Oilers would step up to the challenge. Vancouver started out the season like a house on fire, but then pulled off a horrible 180 that saw them winning only once in a 13-game stretch. Then, after losing basically everything in every way, the Canucks turned things around again by winning four of their last five coming into tonight’s matchup with the Oilers. When you’re going up against a wildcard like that, it’s hard to know what you expect. To start, it looked like both teams needed some time to figure each other out as the shots and chances to score were basically equal after one period of play. While both teams had a few decent chances to score, they also got the goaltending needed to keep zeros on the board through 20 minutes.

For as tight as the first period was, things really opened in the second. The Oilers grabbed themselves a lead on a nice play by Khaira and Nugent-Hopkins, but then shot themselves in the foot by starting an endless parade to the penalty box, though the calls against were pretty weak. Even so, the Oilers let the wheels fall off completely when they were down a man, giving Vancouver all of the offence they’d need to close things out. To be it lightly, it’s pretty Gord damned hard to win hockey games when you’re allowing three goals against with the man advantage. Things didn’t get much better at five-on-five as the Oilers struggled to get anything offensively. Even with Alex Chiasson scoring late in the third period to make things a bit more interesting, it was too little too late for the Oilers as they let too much time pass before finding a way to play with some desperation.

Frankly, the Oilers deserved the result. Now, let’s forget about this one and move on. See you Tuesday.

The wrap.


  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring with his 11th goal of the year after he took a beautiful backhanded pass by Khaira in the slot and quickly buried it past Markstrom. Nuge ripped the snapshot to his favourite spot on the low-stick side and the goalie didn’t have a chance.
  • Alex Chiasson kept his heater going as he collected his 15th goal of the year late in the third period on a perfect setup from Connor McDavid in the slot. Unfortunately, it was too little too late for the Oilers but Chia’s son’s second goal in as many games made things a little bit more interesting, at least.
  • Jujhar Khaira kept his hot hand rolling after he picked up a beautiful assist on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ second-period goal. Khaira picked up the puck in traffic and pulled off a no-look backhander right to RNH’s stick and into the back of the net. Beauty set up by Jujhar.
  • Connor McDavid kept his point streak going with the assist on Alex Chiasson’s goal, but he did not look overly happy about it. The captain got checked hard tonight and he looked frustrated at times, something we don’t often see.
  • Mikko Koskinen looked human tonight as he got beat with two goals he’d probably want back, though it’s hard to blame him on any of them considering how ineffective the team in front of him was on the penalty kill. With how good Koskinen has played lately, you have to give the guy some rope and expect that he’ll bounce back on Tuesday. Koskinen finished the night with 26 saves and a .897 save%.
  • I liked Jesse Puljujarvi’s game a lot tonight. He was physical, used his speed to drive the puck wide, and looked much more engaged overall than he’s been at times. Hitchcock gave him a bump up to the first line in the third period and I’d say it was well deserved, especially relative to the way some of his teammates performed.
  • I really like Caleb Jones’ game so far. He makes smart choices with the puck and his ability to break out of his own zone is very much appreciated. The Oilers need more guys that can connect on passes the way he can.
  • Oilers had a solid night in the faceoff circle, winning 58% of the draws they took.


  • Alex Edler tied the game at one after he got set up on a tee at the point. The Canucks got a weak penalty call go their way with Caleb Jones getting a ridiculous call going against him and they made no mistake on it. Were you surprised? I wasn’t.
  • Brock Boeser gave the Canucks their first lead of the night after he scored a second straight powerplay goal. Kevin Gravel got caught for a weird delay of game call after one-handing the puck over the glass (with help), and the Oilers ended up getting burned for it.
  • Completing the powerplay hat trick, Elias Pettersson put the Canucks up by a pair of goals after he sniped a wrister from the circle that beat Koskinen high over the shoulder. You’ve gotta give the kid credit, he can fire the puck and he scored on a hell of a shot.
  • The Oilers let themselves get way too frustrated by the Canucks tonight and it really affected their ability to get anything going offensively. They kept trying to force the pretty plays to work rather than keeping things simple and looking for a greasy goal.
  • Brutal second period: Too many penalties, too many shots against, too many goals allowed.
  • Not a good night for the Oilers’ penalty kill as they allowed three goals on five chances against. They went from having the lead to trailing in the blink of an eye because they spent too much time in the box and couldn’t lock things down on the PK.
  • I find it highly suspect that the Oilers only got one powerplay chance tonight. You’re telling me that the Canucks only made one infraction in 60 minutes? Give me a break.
  • I thought the Oilers were trying to make one too many passes before throwing the puck at the net, especially early on. They passed up plenty of shooting opportunities early by trying to force passes through that had no chance of connecting.
  • I guess I had too much fun making with my win cast the other night. #BeetCast is coming up in a few minutes and you can join in the conversation over on my Twitter account.



No Scoring


01:40 Edmonton Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (11) ASST: Jujhar Khaira (10), Adam Larsson (10) 1-0
11:49 Vancouver PPG – Alexander Edler (3) ASST: Brock Boeser (10), Bo Horvat (16) 1-1
14:46 Vancouver PPG – Brock Boeser (12) ASST: Ben Hutton (10), Jacob Markstrom (1) 1-2


03:04 Vancouver PPG – Elias Pettersson (17) ASST: Nikolay Goldobin (16), Brock Boeser (11) 1-3
15:50 Edmonton Alex Chiasson (15) ASST: Connor McDavid (30), Darnell Nurse (10) 2-3
18:18 Vancouver EN – Bo Horvat (16) ASST: Antoine Roussel (11), Alexander Edler (9) 2-4


Talk to me, Twitter. Tweet at @OilersNation and @jsbmbaggedmilk for your chance to land in the Best of the Tweets.


In this week’s episode, Chris unveils the absolute worst way to eat a bowl of Shreddies in the morning and tries to defend his horrible life choice. After recovering from the disaster that is Chris’ cereal routine, the boys dove into a recap of the overtime loss in Winnipeg from Thursday night. Considering the way the game ended, we discuss the goalies and the maddening trend of people trying to trade away Talbot when the reality is that the team could run with a pair of competent goaltenders.

Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 12/16/2018 – 10:45 pm MST

      • Himynameistaylor

        I don’t care what anyone says about either goalie, the defense IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. It’s not. It’s unsustainable. It was barely passable when they went to the playoffs last and it’s clearly not good enough now. Hang your hat on your 6’7″ rookie goalie, but don’t be surprised when he comes back to earth and plays like what he’s supposed to be- a back up..
        Your starter, like it or not is Cam Talbot. He stole a point in Winnipeg in a game where the lead was given up not due to a soft goal (granted at most 2 of them he should’ve had) but because the shot attempts were 43-3 in ONE period.

        No goalie. None. No one can play under those circumstances.

          • Himynameistaylor

            ONE game, yeah it’s been ONE game of a subpar save percentage, but this should be expected. Koskinen isn’t a starter. Or he is. It’s too early to tell, he’s been playing well in spots but his play will regress.

  • MrBung

    “I find it highly suspect that the Oilers only got one powerplay chance tonight. You’re telling me that the Canucks only made one infraction in 60 minutes? Give me a break.”

    Oilers should review the video. Compare situations, find any missed infractions and file a grievance with the league, evidence in hand. I am sick of hearing about officiating issues.

    • Himynameistaylor

      It’s cliche but your special teams have to be special. No goalie in this league can sustain solid play behind such a paper thin defense.

      We have the 6/7th d-man from a Kings roster that had no LD depth, and he still couldn’t crack the bottom pairing playing the second pairing.

      We have the guy Vegas took in the draft playing the bottom pairing right now- and he was in the AHL last year.

      This team has ZERO depth. It’s a joke. D-men are drafted and developed. The Oilers passed on Ryan Murray, Morgan Reilly, Ristolainen, Morrissey, Dumba, Lindholm.

      Instead we have Jason Garrison.

      • Boba The Fett

        Ummmm I agree we have no depth but remember we essentially outscored VAN 2-0 5v5. Gravel actually had a good game outside of an unlucky penalty, he and Jones at least put 3 shots on net to lead ALL Oilers tonight, our top line only had 2 SOG.

        • Himynameistaylor

          Gravel has looked okay, but not 2nd pairing okay.
          Caleb Jones is a kid, his play is irrelevant for now, you can’t expect these kids to come in and do what the incumbents are supposed to be doing.

          How short sighted is it of Chiarelli/Pro Scouting that they would rather waste a contract spot on a guy with no wheels instead of alternating in Caleb from game one.

          These losses are seldom the goalies faults, I’m not blaming Koskinen for anything except playing out of his depth. He will fall back into normalcy sooner than later and then what? Hope Talbot gets going?

          My entire frustration with this comments section is how quickly I see the vitriol for guys who were once revered. Everyone has a bad streak of games and aside from the WPG loss, Talbot has been pretty good in most of the games he’s played.

          Koskinen’s alright too, but he shouldn’t be expected to drag this dead carcass of a roster to the playoffs. No goalie can.

    • Boba The Fett

      I would assume they do have conversations with the league. But it seems over the last few years officials have been on a bit of a power trip and they will do what they want as they really are not held accountable.

  • KMA

    Agree about the penalties, they should have evened out. That said, Horvat did a number on McD tonight. We may see more of this type of defensive strategy as the season goes on.

  • Boba The Fett

    Wow did we look gassed, especially Drai!!!

    I do not understand why they kept rotating chiasson off the line when it was clearly Draisaitl who did not have his legs moving AT ALL.

    Koskined struggled on the PK but was great 5v5, the team needed to stay out of the box and not take such stupid penalties. Lets not start ragging on Koskinen after tonight.

    How the hell do we get just 1 PP, the officiating tonight was horrid. Our 1 PP however was horrible also.

    Benning was 50 shades of terrible tonight, wow.

    The team looked like a team that has played 13 games in 23 days, christmas break hopefully lets them regain some energy and hopefully get Russell back.

    Jones did not look bad, way better then Benning/Garrison.

    Jesse looked really good all night.
    2nd/3rd lines played well with some great cycles and forecheks.

    Ultimately special teams sinks us again.

  • slats-west

    This Oilers Team has played this game differently the last 4 weeks they’ve scored early and built a lead then cruised then finished hard. Tonight they were flat and stayed flat until final 6mins. Good teams don’t do this. They should have stepped on their throats from start. (this was the 2012-2015 Oilers loser game). Their goalie let in two softies and they couldnt get started and get it done.

    Not sure why the Reider-Spooner line did not get more minutes they looked dangerous.

    Oh …..AND The 5th most penalized team in the National Hockey league AVERAGING! 10.8 mins/ G cleaned up their act tonight and took only 2 mins. Really?

    If I see that interference no-call play on McDavid where he pokes it by the D then gets crossed-checked, interfered, or rubbed out with no call I’m going to lose my mind! ….Cmon on NHL.

  • Harry2

    I dont remember the last time ive been so pissed about an Oilers loss. They came out carrying the play then just disappeared.

    Im gonna go ahead and say it. McDavid needs to shoot more. When a 160 lb 19yr old swedish rookie is ripping home slap shot / wrist shot goals it begs the question why isnt McD doing it. Cause we all know he can its just having the awarness to do it. He has the physical ability.

    This Canuck team is bad. They remind me of the Oilers when Hall Ebs and Nuge were running things. The only difference is they have much better coaching.

    Bottom line is Edm should of won this game and you saw it in McD’s face after they scored their 2nd.

    Classic example of beating themselves

    • Arfguy

      Yeah…he keeps saying it, but I want Connor to shoot more. He’s always looking to pass. We need goals to win and if you see an opening, you gotta shoot.

      I am very thankful that we have McDavid on the Oilers, but it is frustrating sometimes seeing him passing up shooting opportunities.

    • Boba The Fett

      McDavid shooting more is one thing but how about Draisaitl shooting once in a while, he almost never takes it to the net and shoots. He has a great shot but seems to prefer high risk cross ice passes.

    • Towers-of-dub

      yeah, definitely the bloated commentators on ON should be the ones telling Connor McDavid how to play hockey. Makes no difference that he’s got back to back Art Ross trophies, or that he’s a Hart & Lindsay award winner. People on this site are infinitely qualified to advise him what to do.

  • Kneedroptalbot

    No excuses, the Canucks were the better team tonight. too many men, and shooting the puck over the glass, were weak calls. Come on Baggedmilk?

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    So when Koskinen loses its all “ah next time kiddo”, but when Talbot loses its all “he’s a bum, trade that spawn of the devil”. I see how it is

  • Boba The Fett

    Not saying this is an excuse for tonight but interesting to note.

    The Oil have played 13 games in 23 days in 8 different cities (Edmonton included). In that time they have had 9 travel days and 1 set of back to backs all the while not having a gap between games greater then 1 day.

    I ask, with this schedule, a) how can fatigue not be an issue? b) how are they supposed to fit proper practices into the schedule?

    Hitch has mentioned a few times that they have only had 3 or so real practices.

    With the depleted d core I am wondering if a proper break between games to allow for real practices and some rest won’t be a benefit.

    After they fly home tonight they won’t travel again until either the 31st or 1st, at least 15 days between travel days. Hopefully this allows Hitch to lock in his system, allow the team to figure out a way to play with the depleted d core, and maintain the solid play they have had since Hitch came on board.

    Just something to consider

  • NeverWas

    Tonight, the best player on the Ice was Elias Pettersson… as was evident by the dominant play, slick moves and obviously the wicked snipe for the GWG. What did connor do tonight? Got shut down basically… that’s what. Was quiet all game other than that 4 second rush were he got that apple.

    • Harry2

      Right but Edm is 9-3-2 in their last 14. Theyblaid an egg tonight true.

      PS quit with the Petterson BS. McD has back to back 100pt seasons so calm the F down

      • Clayton

        I’m tired of that excuse. Look 3 hours south. That team played without its best two defensive forwards, its #1 Dman, and two of their other starting 6 Dmen and still continued to win. Injuries happen. Get over it and play hockey.

        • Boba The Fett

          Ummm they played 2 games without Giordano and actually lost 1 of them. CGY has far better depth at defence tho so they are way better equipped to handle their injuries on the back end. On a team with little depth and missing 3 of your top 4 D, not top 6, it is going to lead to some bad nights. CGY is winning games primarily by outscoring their opposition by a ton, not by being a defensive dynamo.

    • Boba The Fett

      Petterson had how many points 5v5? Petterson -2, Connor Even (due to the EN goal), both had just 1 SOG and 1 takeaway. Petterson goes down like a fart in the wind to draw a penalty, meanwhile Connor refuses to go down no matter how much he is mugged and can’t seem to buy a call.

      But please go on about how Petterson is better then Connor, we would all love to hear your argument about his “slick moves and wicked snipe”

  • What the Puck

    It was a lazy game by the oilers. Lazy penalties. Lazy defence. 2nd line came to play and that’s about it. Had the feeling of old, where they felt entitled to win. Next.

  • Oiler Al

    Cant score if you dont shoot the puck.Dria zero shots, McDavid 1 shot, Chaison one shot…. your top line?

    There were others with zero shots. The PK was lost tonite, didn’t help matters. This lack luster scoring puts too much pressure on the defense and goalie.Too many guys chasing the puck and not finishing.Rinky dinky along the boards!”You cant win em all” isn’t good enough for me when you play a lazy game.

  • Beer

    The player’s got the message when Kas got hooked and slashed in the first period, the NHL is picking winners and loser’s, come on, comparing McD to Petterson.

  • Ted

    Tired bunch tonight … Fifth game in eight nights, good heavens are we on a baseball schedule. Five in a row now at home, time to dial it up and get that PP working!!!

  • Simba99

    To say the oilers pass to much in the offensive zone and not shooting is obviously coming from a person that hasn’t seen them play at all this year or the past 3 years. Let me guess 29 saucering a pass through 3 nucks over to 97 as usual.

  • Boba The Fett

    Interesting side note from David Staples, one of the refs tonight was apparently the same ref that Connor told to “check upstairs” last year. Maybe the ref still holds a grudge for being shown up for incompetence.

      • Clayton

        Not sure what the refs are supposed to do. The two delay of game penalties are non-discretionary calls, even with the stick help from the Canucks player. The rule is very clear and the call had to be made. The too many men penalty was also very clear, it wasn’t even close, wasn’t an early substitution, they clearly had too many men. Yes, the refs missed calls that Connor should have drawn, but they also missed some pretty blatant ones that Petterson and Boeser should have drawn too! Reffing wasn’t great, but I would hardly call it biased. Consistent…just bad consistent!

  • Big Jacks Meat

    A stinker for sure, but I will still take 9-3-2 all day long , just start streaking again. Canucks wer all over the boys I will give them that and they have some fire power but , you need to adapt in game. Caleb Jones is better than 3 or 4 D men currently in or out of the lineup. Great first pass out of the zone and he does not seem to miss his target. Great prospect.

  • camdog

    Puck was bouncing all over the place last night. That one delay of game penalty doesn’t happen on good ice. I knew the refs were going to show Caleb Jones who the boss just the way he was acting. That stuff was let go the entire game but was called on a rookie and their star player when he took a dive.

    Canucks have a good thing going. I know the writers on this site have mocked Benning, but I like what he’s been doing with that team. They can skate and when they have confidence, they are going to be tough for the Oilers to beat in their barn. The Pacific division is stronger than what the writers on this site lead on.

    The Oilers are just finishing a tough stretch of games and they have done well. Need to win the next one against St.Louis. It’s a long year, you don’t need to win every game, but you can’t lose multiple games in a row.

  • OilersBro

    Want to hear a win from the game? Coming to work out of my companies Vancouver office this Monday but catching a flight this weekend so I could watch the Oilers game live. Also it felt like a home game as the Let’s Go Oilers chants were louder than the “Go Canucks Go” haha